TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State (27-17, 11-11 ACC) managed just two hits against No. 14 Virginia, dropping the second game of the series 8-0 Saturday afternoon on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. The Cavaliers (34-11, 13-10) scored five runs in the sixth inning, while starting pitcher Noah Murdock (3-1) went six innings without allowing a run.
“There are day’s things don’t go your way because the other team did everything better than you,” head coach Mike Martin said. “We got it handed to us. We got two hits and shutout. Virginia is a very good baseball team, and certainly they proved it today.”
Both teams were scoreless until the fifth inning, when Virginia’s No. 9 hitter Jake McCarthy hit a two-run home run to right field, his second homer of the season. After an error by second baseman Matt Henderson, FSU starter Tyler Holton (5-2) was pulled in favor of Clayton Kwiatkowski. The freshman allowed an infield single, but forced a double play to Pavin Smith to limit the damage.
Virginia added five runs in the sixth inning against three FSU pitchers. In the eighth, Virginia provided the final margin with an RBI single by Robbie Coman.
Holton went 4.1 innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs on McCarthy’s home run. He ran into trouble in the first two innings, but recovered to retire seven straight hitters before Justin Novak doubled to open the fifth.
A day after keeping the vaunted Virginia offense scoreless for the final 4.2 innings, the Florida State bullpen allowed 11 hits and six earned runs in the same time span on Saturday.
FSU’s best chance to score came in the third inning. Henderson led off with a double down the left field line. With one game left in the month, the senior is hitting 14-for-41 in April. J.C. Flowers followed and was hit by a pitch, and Taylor Walls dropped down his first sacrifice bunt since 2015 to advance the runners to second and third.
Murdock answered by striking out Dylan Busby and Jackson Lueck looking to end the threat.
In the fourth, FSU loaded the bases with two outs on a hit by pitch and two walks, but Flowers flied out to right field to end the inning.
Murdock went six innings and allowed just two hits while striking out four. Alec Bettinger entered in relief, pitching the final 3.0 innings to earn his first save of the season.
Florida State and No. 14 Virginia will play the rubber match Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Right-hander Andrew Karp (0-2, 5.35 ERA) will make his first official weekend start for the Seminoles after last week’s game at Miami was rained out after two innings. Virginia will throw left-hander Adam Haseley (6-1, 3.28 ERA), who has started as the centerfielder each of the first two games.
Virginia is 2-3 in rubber match games this season, while Florida State is 3-2, including a win earlier this month against No. 3 Clemson.
The game will stream on ACC Network Extra on WatchESPN, with commentators Tom Block and Chip Baker. Eric Luallen will provide play-by-play audio on 106.1 FM in Tallahassee and nationwide on the FSU Gameday App.
For more information on Florida State baseball, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSUBaseball), Facebook (/FSUBaseball), and Instagram (@NoleBaseball).